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Henderson bakery owner finding sweet success at new location

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Justin M. Bowen

Greg and Jeanne Forrest recently moved their business, Layers Bakery and Cafe, to a shopping plaza at Green Valley and Horizon Ridge parkways in Henderson. The new location is outfitted with a smaller kitchen, Greg Forrest said, because much of the preparation is done at the couple’s commercial kitchen near the Las Vegas Strip. The kitchen atLayers Bakery Cafe, 665 S. Green Valley Parkway, is shown Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010.

Layers Bakery Cafe

A sampling of biscotti is on display Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, at Layers Bakery Cafe, 665 S. Green Valley Parkway, in Henderson. Launch slideshow »

Map of Layers Bakery Cafe

Layers Bakery Cafe

665 S. Green Valley Parkway, Henderson

As Greg Forrest described future plans for his newly reopened Layers Bakery Cafe, a customer seated to his right on a recent morning sized up a ham and artichoke bake.

While Forrest detailed his hopes for a community-oriented business, the gentleman and his wife nodded approvingly as they worked through the conglomeration of egg custard, ham, artichokes and golden potatoes.

A few minutes later, as they scraped their plates clean, a satisfied Richard Hampton couldn’t resist.

“This was phenomenal,” Hampton said, interrupting the bakery owner mid-sentence.

Forrest smiled. This was the atmosphere he was hoping to build when he moved Layers Bakery from its old location on Sunset Road to 665 S. Green Valley Parkway, in the shopping center at the intersection of Green Valley and Horizon Ridge parkways in Henderson.

The business, which Forrest and his wife, Jeanne, first opened in 2004 when they moved to the valley, features made-from-scratch, original recipes for pastries and desserts.

The upgraded nosh spot, which opened last month at its new digs, now offers a breakfast and lunch menu. In addition to items like the ham and artichoke bake, the Forrests added artisan breads, salads and café sandwiches to its offerings alongside cakes and pastries.

The new store also offers larger seating area for guests. The old place, Forrest said, could only seat about a dozen.

He's hoping Layers becomes a regular stop for people in the Green Valley area. So far, so good, he said.

“This is the kind of thing people will love,” Cheryl Hampton told Forrest after finishing her meal. She said she and her husband had stopped in on a whim, and they were glad they did.

“There are too many chains,” she said.

And after only a few weeks on Green Valley Parkway, Forrest said he had already seen a number of repeat customers.

The couple moved to Las Vegas from Jackson, N.H., a village of less than 1,000 people, where they ran a “very successful” deli, Forrest said. He said he’s tried to implement his locally oriented business philosophy in the valley.

“It’s important to have that sense of community. We’re all about comfort food – stuff your grandma made,” he said. “People around here come from those places. We try to know our customers’ names.”

The cross-town move wasn’t quite seamless -- Layers was without a retail store for about six months, from March to October, Forrest said, after their landlord leased out their old location.

In the meantime, the Forrests opened a commercial kitchen near the Strip to deliver cakes to hotel guests and wedding parties. He’s still using the space to make bakery items for Layers and the couple is remaining in the business of cake delivery, he said.

Despite the bum economy, Forrest said his bakery business is in good shape. He’s eyeing possibly expanding, maybe to Summerlin, he said.

It doesn’t hurt that he has the utmost confidence in his chef: his wife.

“She’s the real talent,” he said, calling her the mind behind each recipe.

“There isn’t anybody who makes the stuff we make, the way we make it,” Forrest said. “You can taste it.”

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